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The ingredients for a perfect fall day:
Apples and tasty treats from your friend Stacia’s Orchard:
Cozy situations, great customer service and a crisp fall breeze at Vintage Ridge Winery:
The greatest part of the wedding last week was sitting on the porch with some tea, going on long drives, seafood(!!!), having playdates to the beach and getting to know new friends, hanging out with doggies Sadie and Scoutie, and just enjoying the general splendor that is PEI. A week later I still find myself looking at these photos with a smile on my face. Ah, nostalgia… xo
Dear friends and former Montreal neighbors, Lizzie and Kyle, tied the knot last weekend at the bride’s house in West Covehead, PEI. I cannot tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this wedding. I used to vacation in PEI as a small child, so I knew for a fact that it is one of the most lovely, quiet and charming places on earth. L & K tied the knot last year at city hall in Boston, so I’ve been waiting all year for this one and I was so excited to attend! Lizzie is a classic beauty and has impeccable taste, so I knew going in that the wedding was going to be absolutely stunning. The experience of being there was also so authentic and genuine. I’ve never heard so many loving and kind words said about a couple in one weekend- and they are all true! The whole event truly warmed my heart, and I made some great new friends and felt a part of the family. Here’s to you two, Lizzie and Kyle! Thanks again for including me on your special weekend! <3
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After a summer hiatus full of nothing but work and binge eating foods I don’t even like, I found myself at a two week vacation. Praise. I have been looking forward to this two weeks since Copenhagen. There’s something really great about sitting around and doing NOTHING. I actually thought a lot about picking up a flight to Guatemala and going to the Francis Ford Coppola Lodge but I waited too long to make decisions and truth be told, a lot of my friends are getting married this year and I want to be able to go to as many of the weddings as possible, so I figured it’s better to be thrifty. So, I decided to have a two day jaunt to the Monticello Wine Trail…. Each vineyard is really different- I checked out five in two days, and this is my take on what I drank. Enjoy!
Best bang for your buck in terms of tasting: Barboursville Vineyards
One of the things I really like about Barboursville is how accessible it is. Sure, it’s the most famous and recognized of the lot in a lot of ways (their Viognier and Octagon wines were featured in the British Embassy’s Royal Wedding Reception). For $4 that day (normally $5, but they were running out of glasses, so it was $4) you can try a LOT of wine. I think it was like 18-20 wines, and they had a generous pour. It’s nice starting out there because you can get an idea quickly of what you do and don’t like. I like their viognier + cab franc the best.
Nicest scenic route on the way to the vineyard: King VineyardsThe drive to King is really nice. Although their wines in general weren’t among my personal favorites, I’ve heard that this place is really popular with the locals. And since wine is one of those things that is influenced by personal preference, it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re in the area and interested. The view out back is really different and worth the drive- it’s a spot that flattens out and you get a real nice mountain view. I picked up a bottle of their Roseland and it’s really quite nice.
My personal favorite: Veritas Vineyards and Winery
When you pull up to Veritas, it’s really expansive, and set back up against some pretty woods. My favorite part is sitting on the veranda, eating that amazing cheese plate and drinking their White Star wine, which is absolutely great. I also picked up a bottle of their rose. So relaxing and enjoyable.
Most drinkable wine across the board: First Colony Winery
I did a tasting there at 10:30 in the morning (maybe not the most ideal way to wake up..) because we’d gotten on the road that day. I honestly can say that, other than the Zeyphr, I really enjoyed everything I tried. That port they carry is amazing, and when winter rolls around, I will be ordering some. Grabbed a bottle of their claret.
Best scenic outlook, period: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards
This place was designed for people who believe in romance and weddings. Perched near the top of a valley (that you don’t really see until you drive up), the view out the porch is marvelous. The food is great too- my favorite was the Petit Verdot Cupcakes. Delish! The wine is drinkable, but pretty blah in comparison to what else is in the neighborhood. I’d go for the food, honestly (surprise, surprise). Oh yeah, and the mindblowing views.
….Any suggestions on places I missed, I’d love to hear them! xo
1. Copenhagen is full of green spaces (the botanical gardens are particularly spectacular), so one of the greatest luxuries of that city is walking through the parks with an ice cream and smelling all of the fresh flowers and seeing people out with their families. The statues are pretty beautiful too, so take some time to check those out. Sometimes the locals get into dressing them up (see below!)
2. You should check out Torvehallerne, the amazing and accessible food market near Norreport for some coffee from The Coffee Collective, some fresh fruit and flowers, etc. Eat Smorrebrod at Hallerne’s. As you know, I’m a bit of a market slut, and this one is one of my favorites.
3. Go eat a cupcake at Agnes Cupcake. They have the best and most delectable little cupcakes ever. Clearly, I went several times…
4. If you’re done eating a cupcake, you should also get busy eating a pastry! Copenhagen has some of the best pastries on earth. You can check out La Glace, Skt. Peder’s Bakery, or the Royal Smushi Cafe (my favorite!) for some cakes and pastries!
5. Grab a snack! Eat some fresh Danish strawberries, pick up some flowers from a flower market for your hotel room, and eat a sandwich from Thomas’ Sandwiches (my favorite being the crab and asparagus salad).
6. Go eat some grub! Some of my favorites are local hangout Dyrehaven and Bio Mio, a restaurant inside of an old Bosch factory. The whole area of the meatpacking district is pretty hip in general, and I wouldn’t have discovered it had my new friend Liz not taken me there!
7. A hugely important thing to do: check out one of the three Meyer’s Deli’s for brunch (or anytime, really!). This was one of my favorite things that I did which in Copenhagen. It’s lovely and so hygge to sit outside in the sunshine and have some brunch.
8. Last but not least, walk, walk walk! Walk everywhere! Copenhagen is really accessible and easy to find by foot. And the architecture is great! xo
I got to be in NYC for a full and brief 72 hours for a gig and a birthday celebration with friends (thanks, everyone!!!!) at Vol de Nuit, my favorite Belgian beer bar on this side of the pond. Before I headed over there, I had the huge fortune and random fate of seeing some old buddies of mine play a show at Sullivan Hall with their band, The Phryg (and they sounded great!!!) And even before that, I had to pop by my favorite candy shop, Sockerbit over in the West Village. I’d taken some photos beforehand on my phone but was really peeved with how they’d turned out. This place is just pure happiness. It’s sleek white interior has nothing but tasty Swedish treats and fun Swedish trinkets. They sell bags from Fjallraven (I freaking love my G1000 bag.) as well as toys and bright and sunshiny dishes. See for yourself! xo
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Sunday started just fine. I had a plan to use one of my two newly acquired baking books. There was a recipe for Bakewell muffins from John Whaite, the season three winner of the Great British Bake Off. My friends Julia and Stephen got me absolutely obsessed with this show back in the fall. It’s hard to track down online (BBC IPlayer doesn’t currently work in the states) but you can sometimes track it down on Hulu or Youtube. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, check out the trailer from Season 3.
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, two extremely famous British baking sensations host the show and offer tips on how to bake some of the more complex projects. Here’s their take on Mary’s Toffee Pudding.
Anywho, being the winner of the show has its many perks, including getting your own cookbook. And since I thought John was one of the most adorable bakers ever, I rushed to Amazon.co.uk to purchase it.
… See, isn’t he adorable?!?!?! I’m excited to try a bunch of the recipes, but truthfully I’d bought the book with the sole intention of making his Bakewell Muffins. So, I set upon my Sunday mission of tracking down candied cherries. Apparently, candied cherries are sooooooo holiday season, and after four supermarket trips and an employee at one of said supermarkets insisting that I was looking for fruit snacks instead of candied fruit, I gave up. I don’t understand the point to living in the vast land of suburbia with these football sized grocery stores if you can’t find a fucking thing you’re looking for. And since I seem to be expressing everything with video today, this is how the two hours in the supermarket made me feel:
Anyway, after my super market saga of sadness, I ended up turning to the other cookbook I bought. Ruth Clemens, the runner up from the first season of the Great British Bake Off, has a book from her food blog, The Pink Whisk that’s all about cake baking. It’s absolutely fab and great for people who aren’t as experienced- it’s got tons of step by step photos, and it’s really clear in terms of the directions. I really like her in general. She has a whole set of videos online of her baking Dr. Oetker products. She’s got a real zen-like quality to her. Fuck, I wish I could be that calm while doing anything, let alone baking. But I’m just a big-ol-mess. Le sigh. Admire her talents and chill demeanor here:
And since I was in a Bakewell mood, I decided to bake her Bakewell “Cuppa” Cake. In case you don’t know what a Bakewell is (hey, I didn’t until I went to Scotland) here is a clear cut visual:
The cake came out pretty well, considering I fucked up royally on inserting the filling. The only thing I don’t really understand is that the jam sunk to the bottom… But it still tastes almond-y and cozy and perfect with some strong tea (I’m talking Fortnum’s Queen Anne or Campbell’s) for a sleepy Sunday. It’d be a good one for a Sunday brunch or to take to someone for a housewarming. And Ruth Clemens, if you’re reading this, can you tell me why my jam sunk to the bottom? I read your directions really carefully and I’m so confused! xx
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My mom (ie, the awesome lady outside of Mamie Gateaux in Paris in the photo above) is the number one reason why I’m a decent baker, and she’s the complete origin to my love of food. Everywhere we’ve ever travelled together, we search out places to eat. I’ve been bringing back food products from my travels for years, and it’s probably because I’ve seen my mom do the exact same thing all my life. When I was a kid, and even as an adult, my friends ask to come over for dinner because they know my mom can cook.
So it seems all but fitting that for Mother’s Day we decided we wanted to lounge all day, watch various snippets of crap tv (and Kitchen Nightmares!) and bake the Lemon Curd Layer Cake on the cover of Olive Magazine’s May issue. The smell of citrus can’t help you think of sunshine, and we’ve had plenty of it coming through the glass today. Once this one sets up I can’t wait to have an official taste. We used a lemon curd that I’d picked up at A. Gold in London from Crossogue Preserve that has an absolutely gorgeous custard thing going on. This cake is going to be a delight, and more importantly, it’s been made with love since Mummy and I made it together! She even helps me with food styling tips (those flowers were ALL HER IDEA.)
The recipe hasn’t gone viral yet, but if you like, you can grab a copy of the magazine since it’s out this month. Xo
Hey world! I’m getting excited about my upcoming trip to Copenhagen (!!!), so I decided it was time to bake something Scandinavian inspired. What better than a traditional Daim cake? I decided to go with the one from Signe Johannson’s delicious Daim recipe from her Scandilicious Baking book. Signe’s been promoting her new book, but “New Nordic” cuisine and baking in general seem to be getting tons of kudos lately. This is my first foray into her cookbook, but I have to say, I’ll probs be trying a lot more.
What I like about the recipe is that it’s real easy to follow, as long as you have all of the ingredients. I had a bit of a time picking up the Norwegian brown cheese called Brunost. Apparently Brunost has a cult following- you can read up on it as a “hot topic” here. Anywho.. Ended up at two grocery stores (Whole Foods doesn’t carry it, kids) but finally got a variant on it called Gjetost. It’s got a caramel flavor and putty texture, but it’s pretty delicious, but not entirely cheap ( a small piece is about $5 so I probably won’t be snacking on Gjetost any time soon). Just make sure you have some Chantilly cream on hand or some milk to drink with your slice of cake… because you’re gonna need it! You don’t really NEED the Daim crumbles, but it sure does make it look pretty…
Needless to say, this one won’t be staying in my fridge too long. Straight to the teacher’s lounge it goes. I can’t be trusted. ”Sorry,” coworkers… (wink, wink)!